Where: Farne Islands
When: 18th October 2015
Who: Phil C, Ray C, Emma K, Quentin S, Amy C, Chris T, Milla R, Paul S, Kaisa M, Jack H
Organiser: Phil C
Accommodation: Joiners Shop Bunkhouse
Cost: £190, but with the lost days diving expenses refunded.
In the days running up to the trip it was becoming obvious that some or all of the diving might have to be called off in light of a severe storm coming in from the west. A few people dropped out of the trip and, despite the impending weather, a few took their place with the enticing prospect of some super fun diving with seals. After a great deal of discussion with the skipper, Graeme, the call on Friday was that we should get at least one day of diving. So we convened at stores for 5pm and loaded up the van. Those in cars arranged their plans to get dinner and to the bunkhouse, while the van went to pick up the out-of-towner that couldn’t make it to kit loading. A long drive later, we all made it to the bunkhouse (some later than others), and enjoyed a laid back evening by the fire with some much appreciated birthday brownie!
The next morning we convened with Graeme at Beadnell beach car park and got kitted up ready for launch. The ride out to the islands was pretty lively but all good fun, and after a little searching for somewhere with a bit of shelter from the wind and swell, Greame brought us to a large gathering of seals (much to Kaisa’s excitement!) on the north coast of Harcars island followed by a slightly less seal infested wall on the northern tip of Wamses island.
Dive 1: A shallow dive with lots of kelp and lots of seals! Not much to report but the lesson learned was “if you want the seals to play, it’s best to initiate”.
Dive 2: A nice enough wall but with the main attraction being more seals, or in Jack’s case, what he excitedly thought was a seal tugging on his fin, but was in fact me! Amy and Ray met their seal soul mates, though Ray’s seal may have just wanted to mate… either way, Amy and pal were treated to a good show!
The return trip to Beadnell beach was decidedly less fun, with a few people close to the brink, but Graeme hugged the coast as much as possible and got us back chunder-free. Once Moby was back on her trailer and everyone out of the water, Graeme let us know that Sunday would be too rough (and he proved right) so we headed back to the bunkhouse, via the air filling station, to plan our departure. Some decided to head back that evening but a couple of us remained for a good nights sleep and to clear up before heading back to Sheffield to unload the kit.
A fun trip overall but a shame we only got two dives in the end. Thanks to all those that drove, organised and bought food. Hopefully those of us that were making our first trip to the Farne Islands will get to go again in more favourable conditions sometime soon.
Report by Phil C